Movie Addiction Syndrome
What is our fascination with bad movies? I don't know why, but bad
movies have a strange hold over me. Instead of spending my time at
parties or with friends talking about things I'm interested in, I find
myself compelled to go on and on about movies I simply could not stand.
I could not stand them so much that every excruciating detail is burned
into my mind, which gives me perfect recall of every bad line. Bad
movies are like a cold that you can get rid of only by passing it on to
someone else. They are a virus that digs into our consciousness
until we give in to it, and they are highly contagious. The tension
of holding in a bad movie all to myself can become downright painful.
I can resist the urge to talk for a reasonable length of time, but I'm
only human. Get someone else in the group started, and I break down
instantly, desperately trying to shift the conversation from someone
else's bad movie to mine.
I remember seeing a movie so bad once that it took me longer to rant about
the movie than it did for me to watch it. I talked that movie up so
well, I somehow convinced my brother's then-current girlfriend to go see
how bad it was for herself. She never spoke to me again.
Bad movies get me so angry. It isn't so much the $7.50 I was ripped
off or the waste of two hours. Heck, I might have gotten up and
left. But I couldn't. I was mesmerized, locked with a tractor
beam in my chair. I love movies, and I'll sit through them to the
final fade out, hoping against hope in the deepest recesses of my heart
that things will turn around, that the movie won't disappoint me.
It's a love affair with celluloid, a love affair is that wildly out of
control. And, as it is with all love, the lover is blind to the
faults of his or her beloved, at least until the relationship is over.
It's like rehashing the parts of the relationship that went sour as I go
on and on about how bad it was, talking to as many people as will listen
to me. Eventually the fever passes, and I am free to think about
something else for a while, like going to another movie.
When a store rips me off, I can usually get my money back and never give
them my business again. But with a bad movie, I can't get my cash or
time back. Plus there's no real person or organization upon whom to
focus my wrath. Should I stop seeing movies made by that company?
After three movies, I'd never see a movie again. From that director?
With those actors? That Best Boy or Grip? Who is there for me
to punish? Movies are made by phantom partners no one ever gets to
meet, entities that go into business to make a single movie, than go out
of business. I am left without having tasted any revenge. And
my mind is left with the bad aftertaste of bad acting, a bad script, and a
I can understand not talking too much about a good movie. After all,
I know I'm willing to kill someone who tells me that the movie I really
want to see ends with the guy actually being a woman or everybody dead.
As a race, we understand instinctually that talking too much about a good
movie is crude, unintelligent, animal behavior punishable by painful and
exotic tortures. Everybody knows this, that is, except for critics.
I'm amazed at how most critics simply can't seem to talk about a movie
without revealing the entire plot and who dies in the end. I'm
especially intrigued by how they'll state the obvious: "This action
movie is no Academy Award winner." Duh. I already know
that most action flicks have terrible dialogue and plot holes you can
drive a truck through. They wouldn't be as interesting if they were
cluttered with a real story or believable characters.
I suppose the irony is that I keep going back. Secretly, I sneak out
to see them whenever I'm feeling low about myself. I'll sit smugly
during the whole movie, noticing every flaw and thinking things like,
"I can do better than this," or "if they bought this piece
of crap maybe there's a market for my stuff, which is good."
I've considered seeking medical help, and I've even looked for a 12-step
program in the Yellow Pages. I guess that either I'm a hopeless
romantic or I have a penchant for cardboard characters.
Or, as I have considered more than once, perhaps I just really love bad